Hammons Review: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown Still Amazes the Fans Almost a Half Century Later


Still Crazy, Arthur Brown - Photo by Craig Hammons
Still Crazy, Arthur Brown – Photo by Craig Hammons

When growing up one of the first records I ever bought that changed my life was The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.   Little did I know that almost a haft of century later I would be witnessing an amazing night of theatrics, psychedelic blues and the compelling showmanship of the man himself Arthur Brown.  He goes through more costume changes than Cher and has better dance moves than Jagger.

The evening started out with a quartet from Ohio name Electric Citizen led by the very dramatic and animated lead singer Laura Dolan.  Their brand of heavy rock was well received by the crowd and was a perfect opening for what was to be an epic night.  Most of the songs they played were from were from their latest release Higher Time.

Next up was White Hills who have been around since 2005 playing their brand of fuzz heavy psychedelic rock and roll.  The two members Ego Sensation (bass) and Dave W. (guitar, keyboard and vocals) led us on a trip into space filling the room with sonic sounds of ethereal heaviness.  But as their set progressed we just wanted what we came for the mighty and majestic Arthur Brown.

The moment we were all waiting for had finally arrived the man, the myth and the legend was now ready to grace the stage.   The band started things off with an instrumental introduction while we all waited enthusiastically for our leader into the crazy world we were about to visit to take the stage.   Once Arthur Brown arrived he was greeted with a thunderous round of applause from a very excited crowd.

They opened with the title track from their latest release Zim Zam Zim.  They then went on to captivate the audience with their classics and tracks from their vast catalogue of releases.  Arthur Brown’s singing ability at 74 is in fine form.  He can hit the high and low notes with ease and sing the blues like a true bluesman especially on his fine cover of Screamin Jay Hawkins “I Put a Spell on You.”

Arthur Brown at The Regent Theater - Photo by Craig Hammons for California Rocker
Arthur Brown at The Regent Theater – Photo by Craig Hammons

The show moved at a brisk pace while Arthur Brown mesmorized the audience with costume change and riveting vocal power.  One of the craziest costumes of the night was him dressed in a coat of LED lights during the song “The Unknown.”

With each song the energy got higher and Arthur decided to go out into the audience to touch the fans that were worshiping a power of passion they could have never imaged.  As he passed by me I patted him on the back and felt some of the electricity he was generating.

The Regent was ready to explode as the God of Hellfire lit his headdress on fire to sing the song we all know “Fire.”   To see this man at his age dance, sing and entertain the way he does is nothing short of an experience that will live on in our minds forever.

The band then played their last two songs of the night leaving the audience in total awe.

I feel very lucky to have witnessed one of the greatest rock acts of all time.  Tonight was rock and roll history.

This was a short run of only eight dates but from what I understand there will be another run of shows in September.  Do not miss this undisputed master of mayhem next time.